The Football League season kicks off this weekend and with the Premier League shortly to follow, ten month’s worth of action is now just around the corner. There’s still plenty of business to be concluded though, as managers frantically try to prepare their troops for another tough campaign that is likely to be more competitive than ever. There’s no shortage of rumours this week – some silly, some not so silly – so if you want to keep in the loop, read on for this week’s rumour mill.
Modric second choice for United
Speculation is rife that United are now looking to Croatian and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric as they attempt to fill their void in the middle of the park.
United have been courting Cesc Fabregas very publicly for the last few weeks, and to be utterly frank, the whole charade has been a bit embarrassing and somewhat reminiscent of an enthusiastic 10-year old schoolboy being continually rebuffed by a less than keen female counterpart. Fabregas was quite clearly not up for a move to Old Trafford (let’s face it, why would he be?), and yet on United ploughed with the bids, only to emerge with no player, and less time to buy someone else instead.
Modric is apparently their second choice, and they will be hoping for better luck with the Croatian, whose move to Real Madrid hasn’t exactly gone to plan. United are apparently interested in tempting Madrid with a £25m bid, but whether Madrid are prepared to take a loss on the player they bought for £33m only last summer remains to be seen. Let’s hope that at least Modric is keen on the move, as it wouldn’t be great for United’s PR to be rebuffed once again.
Pep keen on David Luiz
New Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly keen to bring talented defender David Luiz to Munich as he seeks to add his own personal stamp to the European champions.
Luiz has been at Chelsea for 2 seasons, and although opinion is somewhat divided over the 26-year old, there’s no doubt that he’s a very talented individual. Jose Mourinho has been quick to quash rumours that Luiz is for sale, extolling the big Brazilian’s talent; but the reality is that Luiz’s style of play may well be at odds with how Jose likes to set his teams up, and therefore there is a fair chance that he could be surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have so far been immoveable on the subject, rejecting a £34.5m bid for the defender, but it will be interesting to see what happens if Bayern up their bid. The reports indicate that Guardiola is so keen to attain the services of Luiz that he would be willing to sanction a £40m bid, and it seems likely that Chelsea would be prepared to let him go at that price.
Jose desperate to unite with Didier in any capacity
This may be one of the slightly more far-fetched rumours this week, but plenty of news outlets are reporting Jose Mourinho’s wish to bring Chelsea legend Didier Drogba back to the club, as a player or a coach.
Drogba enjoyed eight highly successful years at Stamford Bridge, and with the Special One back in charge, many believe that Drogba could well be returning to don the Chelsea blue. Mourinho is believed to be keen on having the Ivorian’s influence back in the dressing room, and therefore would be happy to bring Drogba back on board in either a playing or coaching capacity. The big striker has been at Shanghai and Galatasaray since his Chelsea exit, and it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see the lure of London tempt Drogba back for one last Premier League foray. Watch this space.
Pastore to join the AVB revolution
Tottenham manager Andre-Villas Boas is apparently very keen to secure the services of PSG playmaker Javier Pastore – whether Spurs sell Gareth Bale or not.
Pastore hasn’t had the easiest of times since moving to Paris for around €39.8m in 2011, and with the French club continuing their massive spending spree, he could soon find himself surplus to requirements at the cash-rich French champions. Tottenham manager Daniel Levy has already backed his manager strongly in the transfer window, and a move for Pastore in addition to his move for Brazilian midfielder Paulinho would show fans that Spurs really are determined to crack the top four next season. The one snag may be Pastore’s wages; thought to be fairly exorbitant, and with Tottenham employing a strict wage structure it may be difficult to tempt the Argentinean to White Hart Lane.
Valencia seek Soldado replacement…at Old Trafford
The common consensus is that Tottenham’s deal for Valencia striker Roberto Soldado is all but complete (and in fact may have been sewn up by the time you read this), and today reports have emerged that Valencia are looking to replace their frontman with none other than Man United supersub Javier Hernandez (aka Chicharito).
The Mexican has been a massive hit in the Premier League, and can count himself very unfortunate not to play more than he does, with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney often ahead of him in the pecking order. Up until now, Hernandez has appeared quite content to be an impact substitute, but he may be tempted by the offer of regular football at Valencia; not to mention the favourable climate.
It seems unlikely that United would want to sell, but given that Hernandez doesn’t feature all that regularly for the Red Devils, if Valencia were to come in with a bid of some stature, it seems likely that United may struggle to turn it down.
And some other rumours:
Newcastle to move for Sunderland reject Phil Bardsley
Everton to tempt Wigan with a £15m move for James McCarthy
Portugese winger Nani set for talks with United boss Moyes about his future
Arsenal will not increase their £40m (+£1) offer for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez
QPR midfielder Park Ji-Sung set to return to PSV Eindhoven on a season-long loan